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Mission Accomplished – StartupVisa Canada

CC-BY-SA-20  Some rights reserved by Marion Doss
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Remember back in 2011 when I was xenophobic and wasn’t supporting Startup Visa? To the credit fo the incredible StartupVisa Canada Initiativea team, which I was lucky enough to join and support, the Federal Government is launching a new class of immigration visa with the participation of CVCA and NACO. Check out Christine Dobby’s summary from the press conference (it’s where all my statistics and data are from). Go read Boris Wertz’s story about Summify founders and the impetus for Startup Visa Canada.

“We believe startups to be the driving force behind job creation and prosperity,” says executive director Richard Rémillard. “We need to be pro-active in attracting foreign entrepreneurs.”

The new visa is replacing the old “entrepreneur class” visa, which required the applicant/immigrant to hire one person for one year. In 2011, the federal government issued approximately 700 of the old entrepreneur class visa. The government is making 2,750 visas, issued to immigrants based on selection and funding by venture capital investors. Immigrants receive immediate permanent resident status. Looks like a pilot program with a 5 year lifespan, with the opportunity to make permanent depending on uptake.

Thinking by Zach Aysan (zachaysan)) on
Thinking by Zach Aysan

My issues back in 2011 and previously, were not with the intent of the program. But in the proposed implementation details. One of the biggest assets, in my not so humble opinion, is the population diversity, with 46% of Toronto’s pouplation being foreign born. It is the creative tension between differing viewpoints that makes Canada an amazing place. The implementation of startup visa makes Canada an even more attractive place to recruit foreign born scientists, engineers and now entrepreneurs. I love it!

  1. It’s really smart that Canada is taking advantage of the deadlock in US congress to get ahead in terms of attracting talent to Canada. I wonder how this will impact the speed at which supportes of the US #startupvisa will push immigration reform south of the border.

    By the way here is a picture of the event, it was really exciting to have this announced out of our Toronto EventMobi office :)

  2. I’m trying to immigrate 2 people from the USA to my startup here in Canada – do you think this will help me?

  3. It depends? If you are Canadian, probably not. My understanding is that it is designed for entrepreneurial founders that have raised venture capital from a CVCA member firm. 

  4. Ah – I just raised a series a for my Canadian startup, and he is a co-founder, but we have to go through some long bloated 4 month process to get him here and it’s going to cost $6000!

  5. The StartupVisa Canada Initiative Team did good. Gathering the support from the community was key. And with the support of CVCA, NACO and CABI the Canadian government felt compelled to move forward. Awesome win for the future of Canada and tech innovation. #brainsuck not #braindrain 

  6. It’d be nice if Canadian govt did more to help entrepreneurial immigrants already in Canada (no shortage of them).  The country has an established history of bringing in highly skilled immigrants who get here to find themselves unable to get work in their fields (eg PhD cab drivers).  The entrepreneurial ones amongst them who turn to startup a new business still find exceedingly hard to get going. #JustSaying

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